Robbery victim to file criminal charges against Police for misplaced gold, other valuables
A 33-year-old woman is preparing to file private criminal charges against nine ranks of the Guyana Police Force after it is alleged that they stole over $1M in gold and other items from her handbag.
According to Atday Mitchell, her handbag was stolen from her vehicle which was parked on the Kitty Seawall on the afternoon of April 9, 2020, but it was reportedly dropped off at the Prashad Nagar Police Outpost the following day, however, six months later, Mitchell is still awaiting the return of her handbag and valuables.
“My Attorneys are going to pursue private criminal charges against the ranks, the Detective, the Station Sergeant and the Constables…I think that justice in this matter should prevail,” Mitchell told the News Room during an interview on Thursday.
She is being represented by Attorneys Nigel Hughes and Leslie Sobers.
The mother of two explained that on the afternoon the bag was stolen, she parked her vehicle and walked along the seawall as she waited on a female friend to arrive.
The vehicle was left unlocked; she was later told that Police ranks on patrol and the same female friend were seen around her vehicle.
The handbag contained $75,000 cash, a gold necklace valued $750,000, one ounce of raw gold which was valued $350,000 at the time, a leather purse with a gold pendant valued $300,000, a gold pen valued $55,000 and other items.
The following day, the Police from the Prashad Nagar Police Outpost contacted her to retrieve the bag claiming that two unknown persons dropped it at the station, however, when Mitchell arrived and told the ranks what items were in the bag, they became hesitant to return it and provided a series of excuses.
“While [I was] telling him (name of Police Constable provided) what was in my bag, I realised that he was getting a bit [agitated] and hesitant to bring my bag…then I saw two of them went to the back of the station and came back.
“…I then asked where is my bag? He then said two Caucasian people picked up my stuff at the Campbellville School street in a Ziploc plastic and brought it to the station then he went on to say ‘I am calling this person to bring some of your stuff and they’re not answering their phone,” according to Mitchell.
Mitchell is highly suspicious of the ranks noting that they changed their version of events several times.
Though one of the Police Officers was seen with Mitchell’s car key and purse in her hand days after the items were reportedly ‘dropped off’, the items were never handed over to Mitchell until October 5, 2020, when Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum intervened.
However, the gold, jewellery, cash and other items are still missing along with the Guess handbag.
The mother of two said she is convinced that her bag was stolen by her female friend and returned with everything inside but it was the Police who removed the valuables.
“This is a horrific crime the Police would have pulled off and are still implementing,” the distraught woman said.
Mitchell also plans to bring charges against the female friend.
Mitchell said she had met with the former Crime Chief Michael Kingston, retired Commissioner of Police Leslie James and various ranks of the Police Force but she received no help.
The woman criticised the way in which the Police handled the matter.
“Police is there to protect citizens of this country and not to tear them down; the way that I see the police handle this matter unprofessionally.”
Mitchell said the incident has affected the last six months of her life since most of the stolen items do not belong to her.
“I did not sleep for almost two months –April and May…it left my home in a state that no one would want to live in, it would have caused a lot of problems even to my kids. I am still traumatized, my kids are still traumatized,” Mitchell said with tears streaming down her face on Thursday.
“Even to my kids schooling…I also got sick, I was unable to cook for my kids, I was even unable to wash, not even my kids were able to do the online schooling, everything stopped for me knowing you would have lost over $1M in things, all my grocery money, I had to be collecting help from my sister overseas, my church and persons who sent hampers.”
Even now as she is pursuing criminals charges against the ranks, Mitchell said she is fearful for her and her children’s lives as she is cognizant of what the Police are capable of.
“We’re not getting to sleep as it is, my life is in danger presently because the Constables has all my important information. We are even looking to migrate because I don’t know at any time when these people will want to attack us,” she told the News Room.
Efforts made by the News Room to contact Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum and Region Four Commander Simon McBean were futile.